It has been 21 years since hip-hop legend Biggie Smalls (aka the Notorious B.I.G., aka Christopher Wallace) was gunned down in Los Angeles. And despite the victim’s celebrity — and rumors that his demise was somehow linked to the prior death of his rival Tupac Shakur — the case remains unsolved, and no one has ever been arrested, much less charged, in the homicide. As such, it continues to intrigue the public at large. And now, on the heels of USA Network’s recent Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., none other than Johnny Depp is going to try to solve the case, in a new feature whose first trailer (see above) has just been released.
In City of Lies, Depp plays former Los Angeles Police Detective Russell Poole, who’s brought out of retirement by a journalist (Forest Whitaker) intent on finally figuring out who killed Biggie — and why. Whitaker’s character is based on Randall Sullivan, whose book serves as the source material for Brad Furman’s film, and from the looks of the trailer, he’ll be roping Depp’s protagonist into a whole heap of trouble. With all signs pointing to a cover-up by the LAPD, Depp’s and Whitaker’s crusaders will find themselves not only angering the powers that be, but putting themselves in harm’s way, all in an effort to uncover a truth that’s been kept secret for the better part of two decades — and that, according to Depp, “could ruin the city.”
Far from the outlandish fantasy characters that Depp has made his stock-in-trade, Poole appears to be the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s return to the sort of character-based acting he’s eschewed for far too long. Co-starring Xander Berkeley and Shea Whigham, City of Lies premieres in theaters on Sept. 7.
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